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Volume 5 | Issue 2 | Spring 2018

Minister's Message

Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training

Last month was Construction and Skilled Trades Month and we celebrated the over 229,000 workers who are employed in the construction sector.

There are currently $75 billion worth of construction projects underway in BC. This is a time of unprecedented growth in the construction sector, and a time of career opportunities in the skilled trades for everyone, including women and Indigenous groups.

There will be over 59,000 job openings in the construction sector by 2027. Increasing equity-seeking groups’ participation in the trades will help fill many of these job

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Last month was Construction and Skilled Trades Month and we celebrated the over 229,000 workers who are employed in the construction sector.

There are currently $75 billion worth of construction projects underway in BC. This is a time of unprecedented growth in the construction sector, and a time of career opportunities in the skilled trades for everyone, including women and Indigenous groups.

There will be over 59,000 job openings in the construction sector by 2027. Increasing equity-seeking groups’ participation in the trades will help fill many of these job openings and meet labour demand.

I’m excited about raising awareness of the good paying jobs that are available in the skilled trades and encourage everyone considering trades to get in touch with their local public post-secondary institution to find out how they can get started.  

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CEO Message

The Skilled Trades Present Opportunity, for Everyone

Whatever your gender, ethnicity or age, the skilled trades in British Columbia are a viable career path with lots of opportunity for growth and success, and it is our job to work together with government, employers and training providers to create, celebrate and show you the many possibilities and how to access them.

For those tradespeople who want to progress into more managerial roles, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers the Apprentice to CEO course. For those remote Indigenous

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The Skilled Trades Present Opportunity, for Everyone

Whatever your gender, ethnicity or age, the skilled trades in British Columbia are a viable career path with lots of opportunity for growth and success, and it is our job to work together with government, employers and training providers to create, celebrate and show you the many possibilities and how to access them.

For those tradespeople who want to progress into more managerial roles, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers the Apprentice to CEO course. For those remote Indigenous communities that cannot easily access trades training, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) has a mobile training unit to facilitate regional access.

For employers who support apprenticeship, the Small Business BC, Best Apprentice Training Award was created to celebrate their great work. The skilled trades present immense opportunity, for everyone, and we are here to help with your apprenticeship every step of the way.

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Leadership

New Board Appointments for ITA

Minister Melanie Mark, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, has appointed six new board members for the Industry Training Authority. The new members bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to skilled trades training.

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New Board Appointments for ITA

Minister Melanie Mark, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, has appointed six new board members for the Industry Training Authority. The new members bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to skilled trades training. Roberta Ellis, the former Senior Vice President, Corporate Services and Human Resources at WorkSafeBC, leads the board as Board Chair. Full news release is available on our website.

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Women in Trades Training

Celebrating Women in Trades

Doors are opening, and opportunities are on the rise for women who want to pursue careers as Plumbers, Electricians, Sheet Metal Workers or other skilled trades. In the spirit of International Women’s Day in March 2018, we shared the stories of three successful women who are making their mark on the BC trades landscape. 

Carmen Collins is blazing trails as the first woman in history to work in the sheet metal department of the fleet maintenance facility for the Department of National Defense (DND). Despite working in a male-dominated field, Carmen feels that she has

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Celebrating Women in Trades

Doors are opening, and opportunities are on the rise for women who want to pursue careers as Plumbers, Electricians, Sheet Metal Workers or other skilled trades. In the spirit of International Women’s Day in March 2018, we shared the stories of three successful women who are making their mark on the BC trades landscape. 

Carmen Collins is blazing trails as the first woman in history to work in the sheet metal department of the fleet maintenance facility for the Department of National Defense (DND). Despite working in a male-dominated field, Carmen feels that she has proven there is a place for women in trades. She believes that, “as long as you apply yourself and work hard, there is no reason why your success should be defined by your gender.” 

Amy Carr is a 4th year Sheet Metal apprentice and a mother of three. Even though she initially received discouraging comments such as, “we’ve had women before, but they always get hurt,” Amy persevered. Now, Amy is one of 11 women in the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (Local 276), where she is a dedicated trades mentor, and an invaluable member of the team. 

Roseanna Young first found her passion for trades at age 16 when she participated in a Sheet Metal program for at-risk youth. As a mother, sheet metal shop supervisor and student at the Roofing Contractors Association of BC, Roseanna wears many hats. As a woman in trades, “believing in myself was something that I lacked,” said Roseanna. Through her trades journey, she has achieved a new sense of confidence. 

Learn more about ITA’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program, and the impact women are having on the workforce.

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Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training

Houses for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella

Camosun College’s Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training (IPTT) program, sponsored by ITA with funding from the BC-Canada Job Fund, worked with the Heiltsuk Nation and Mid Coast First Nations Training Society to deliver Carpentry Level 1 apprentice training in Bella Bella.

Camosun had two of their trades instructors teaching the program, and the community warmly welcomed and embraced the instructors while they lived in the community and taught the program.

11 community members participated in the program between October 30, 2017, and December 15, 2017. The program

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Houses for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella

Camosun College’s Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training (IPTT) program, sponsored by ITA with funding from the BC-Canada Job Fund, worked with the Heiltsuk Nation and Mid Coast First Nations Training Society to deliver Carpentry Level 1 apprentice training in Bella Bella.

Camosun had two of their trades instructors teaching the program, and the community warmly welcomed and embraced the instructors while they lived in the community and taught the program.

11 community members participated in the program between October 30, 2017, and December 15, 2017. The program supports the Heiltsuk with building new houses in their community during a three-year housing development project. The Capital Department at the Nation sponsors the apprentices. Tutoring, job coaching and other supports were provided throughout the program.

Upon completion, the community hosted a dinner for students, family and stakeholders, where students received a tool belt and assortment of carpentry tools to help them in their new careers.

Programs such as this are essential in encouraging innovation and collaboration in trades training across BC. By working together, delivering more trades training to Indigenous communities is made more accessible and effective, and participants are given further opportunity to add value to their community through meaningful contribution.

Find out more about ITA’s Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training (IPTT) program, and the importance of providing opportunities to support Indigenous peoples in trades

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Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training

Bridging to Trades in Indigenous Communities Across BC

Living in a remote BC community can pose challenges, especially when it comes to accessing the training and education required to pursue certain careers. For a variety of Indigenous communities across the province, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology’s (NVIT) two mobile training units are active in delivering the Bridging to Trades program, which provides pre-foundational training in several popular industrial trades.

Over the past eight years, the trailers have visited more than 35 locations, training up to 24 Indigenous students per unit on each visit. The trailers

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Bridging to Trades in Indigenous Communities Across BC

Living in a remote BC community can pose challenges, especially when it comes to accessing the training and education required to pursue certain careers. For a variety of Indigenous communities across the province, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology’s (NVIT) two mobile training units are active in delivering the Bridging to Trades program, which provides pre-foundational training in several popular industrial trades.

Over the past eight years, the trailers have visited more than 35 locations, training up to 24 Indigenous students per unit on each visit. The trailers have the capacity to give students hands-on experience in electrical, plumbing/pipefitting, machining/millwright, and welding. The Bridging to Trades program also encompasses employment readiness and essential skills classroom training for all students.

John Chenoweth, Dean of Trades at NVIT, highlights the opportunity this program provides. “Most participants haven’t had a lot of success in education or in the workplace, but once they go through this program, you can see a passion grow for fixing or changing something. Just by participating, they know they can succeed.”

Find out more about the Bridging to Trades program, and apply to have it delivered to your community.

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Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training

A Cut Above the Rest: Connecting Cultures in the Classroom

Gwen Stewart has been the head of the Hairstylist Foundation Program at the College of the Rockies for more than 10 years. While reviewing the course content, Gwen noticed that Indigenous perspectives were missing from the curriculum. She decided it was time to close the gap. 

As a non-Indigenous educator, Gwen identified an opportunity to bring Indigenous voices into the classroom. “I wanted to include not just the knowledge of Ktunaxa peoples, but the teaching of methods, too,” said Gwen. To help bring Indigenous principles into her curriculum, Gwen turned to

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A Cut Above the Rest: Connecting Cultures in the Classroom

Gwen Stewart has been the head of the Hairstylist Foundation Program at the College of the Rockies for more than 10 years. While reviewing the course content, Gwen noticed that Indigenous perspectives were missing from the curriculum. She decided it was time to close the gap. 

As a non-Indigenous educator, Gwen identified an opportunity to bring Indigenous voices into the classroom. “I wanted to include not just the knowledge of Ktunaxa peoples, but the teaching of methods, too,” said Gwen. To help bring Indigenous principles into her curriculum, Gwen turned to Indigenous knowledge-holders and elders for guidance.

Now, Gwen’s students can learn about how important hair is in the cultures of the Ktunaxa peoples and other Indigenous peoples through individual stories.

By integrating Indigenous voices into the official program outline, Gwen has transformed her classroom into an extension of their local culture, creating a greater intercultural understanding amongst her students as a result.

Learn more about the Hairstylist Foundation Program at the College of the Rockies, and what it takes to learn the techniques of this trade

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Employer Spotlight

Small Business BC: Celebrating Apprentice Employers

Congratulations to Northern Legendary Construction for receiving the Best Apprentice Training Award at the Small Business BC Awards in February!

The Best Apprentice Training Award recognizes a company employing less than 50 employees that is leading the industry in training and development, ensuring the skilled trades community continues to grow in BC. Applicants are judged on industry leadership, apprentice growth and development, and community impact and quality of service.

Northern Legendary Construction, a Fort St. John construction company, specializes in general

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Small Business BC: Celebrating Apprentice Employers

Congratulations to Northern Legendary Construction for receiving the Best Apprentice Training Award at the Small Business BC Awards in February!

The Best Apprentice Training Award recognizes a company employing less than 50 employees that is leading the industry in training and development, ensuring the skilled trades community continues to grow in BC. Applicants are judged on industry leadership, apprentice growth and development, and community impact and quality of service.

Northern Legendary Construction, a Fort St. John construction company, specializes in general contracting for new builds and renovations in the commercial, industrial and residential fields. Eric Bell, founder of Northern Legendary Construction, is very dedicated to apprenticeship training and ensures that each apprentice hired is mentored and provided opportunities to pursue Red Seal certification.

Learn more about the award, and what makes Northern Legendary Construction a great apprentice employer

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Apprentice Spotlight

Time to Trade Up: Apprentice to CEO

Whether you’re an apprentice aspiring to build a business, a journeyperson looking for new opportunities, or an employee striving to become more valuable to your trades employer, entrepreneurial skills are critical to building, maintaining, growing or being a part of a successful trades business. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) launched Apprentice to CEO, a course that teaches participants the ins and outs of how to take that next step, and progress into more managerial roles as a tradesperson.

Jason Mitchell, a tradesperson who has been thinking about

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Time to Trade Up: Apprentice to CEO

Whether you’re an apprentice aspiring to build a business, a journeyperson looking for new opportunities, or an employee striving to become more valuable to your trades employer, entrepreneurial skills are critical to building, maintaining, growing or being a part of a successful trades business. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) launched Apprentice to CEO, a course that teaches participants the ins and outs of how to take that next step, and progress into more managerial roles as a tradesperson.

Jason Mitchell, a tradesperson who has been thinking about starting his own business, took the course to gain more business experience and network with like-minded individuals. “Through pragmatic procedures, we were able to bring ideas from paper into practices,” says Jason. He explains that the course equipped him with many new skills that he has already been able to apply in the workplace. What makes Apprentice to CEO different from any other course is that it is a “trades-oriented program produced, conducted, and executed by people with the know-how and skills of today’s trades-dominated businesses.”

Are you an aspiring CEO? Learn more about BCIT’s Apprentice to CEO course, and discover if it’s the right fit for you, or an apprentice you know

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Youth Initiatives

A Head Start for High School Students

The Coquitlam School District (SD 43) implemented a Trades Ambassadors Program to celebrate and reward exceptional students within the school’s youth trades programs. Up to two students who demonstrate strong work ethic, technical skills and clear aspirations are selected by their teachers as Trades Ambassadors. Trades Ambassadors are awarded with a certificate of excellence, and opportunities to participate in career fairs, mentorship programs, and a variety of trades events.

The Trades Ambassadors Program was designed to highlight the value of skilled trades across the

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A Head Start for High School Students

The Coquitlam School District (SD 43) implemented a Trades Ambassadors Program to celebrate and reward exceptional students within the school’s youth trades programs. Up to two students who demonstrate strong work ethic, technical skills and clear aspirations are selected by their teachers as Trades Ambassadors. Trades Ambassadors are awarded with a certificate of excellence, and opportunities to participate in career fairs, mentorship programs, and a variety of trades events.

The Trades Ambassadors Program was designed to highlight the value of skilled trades across the school district and shift the perception around students in trades. Now, outstanding students in trades receive equal recognition as students who are outstanding in academics.

Michael Coutto – a graduate of Dr. Charles Best Secondary School – participated in the apprenticeship program at Cairns Electric. According to Michael, the best part about working on a job site is that no two days are the same. “You’re coming to work and you’re working with your hands,” says Michael. “There is a new aspect or new excitement every day.”

Learn more about the different ITA Youth Programs available.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.